Second half comeback by Terrors inflicts damaging defeat in clash of bottom two
Worthing threw away a half time lead as Tooting & Mitcham United fought back to secure a vital three points over their relegation rivals.
First half goals from Jazz Rance and Alex Parsons saw Adam Hinshelwood’s men come from behind to lead at the break however the Terrors ran in three second half goals, including a strike by former Worthing forward Omar Folkes to take control of the game. The returning Zack Newton did pull one back late on but it wasn’t enough and the home side opened up a four point gap over their nearest rivals.
The visitors started brightly but fell behind early on. Folkes the provider as he teed up midfielder Chace O’Neill to place a perfect side footed shot into the corner.
The hosts then enjoyed a period of being well on top immediately after taking the lead. They nearly extended their lead when Mike Dixon did well to brush off Henry Watson and fire across goal but the angle proved too tight and he couldn’t find the target.
Just before the half hour mark though the away side drew level. A great team break found Reece Meekums in a good position who was able to slide the ball into the path of Jazz Rance who gave home ‘keeper Matte Pierson no chance.
They capitalised on their momentum four minutes later to complete a quick-fire turnaround when Parsons cut in from the left and fired for goal, Pierson got a touch but couldn’t keep it out.
It could have got even better for the Mackerel Men before half time, the returning Tom Cadman was inches wide with a left-footed drive before the same player had a strong claim for a penalty when he appeared to be bought down by Callum McNaughton, however the referee waved play on.
Straight from the restart the home side had two glorious chances to draw level, both falling to Folkes. He failed to make the most of his first opportunity as his tame effort was easily stopped by Covolan before he miscued horribly from Nathan Corkery’s cut-back moments later.
It wasn’t long before they did make the most of a positive start to the second period. It was just six minutes old when an in-swinging free-kick from the left found McNaughton completely unmarked and the defender made now mistake with a cool side foot finish.
With the game all square once again back came Worthing. From a corner Reece Hallard got free and connected well with a volley that Pierson did well to keep out, the rebound falling to Cadman who blazed over the top.
A tense half hour would follow, both sides sensing a first league win of the season and there were chances at both ends for Meekums and Folkes as the hour mark approached.
Hinshelwood introduced Newton and Harvey Sparks with 25 minutes to play in a positive move and it almost had a immediate impact as Parsons came close to restoring the lead from Rance’s inch-perfect delivery but his close-range header was too close to Pierson who kept it out before the ball was cleared to safety.
It would be Tooting & Mitcham though that would go on to take control of the game, with eleven minutes left Folkes found himself with a clean run at the goal from the halfway line, and this time he remained calm enough to round Covolan and roll into empty net.
Five minutes later and the win was all but secured by substitute Billy Dunn who placed an accurate side footed finish into the bottom corner to give the hosts breathing space.
Newton’s well-taken goal with two minutes remaining gave his side hope but the referees whistle moments later was signalled with great joy from the home supporters as it was they who were celebrating for the first time all season as Hinshelwood is left to pick up the pieces of yet another defeat.